What is Central Serous Retinopathy?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 August 2019
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Sometimes referred to as central serious chorioretinopathy or CSC, central serous retinopathy is a condition in which fluid leaks from the central macula of the eye. As a result of the leak of macular fluid, the central vision in the eye becomes somewhat blurred, resulting in temporary vision loss. While this condition is more common in males, there are reported cases involving females. Fortunately, many people experience partial or complete recovery from this condition within six months, although some do experience a permanent decrease in the quality of night vision or the ability to distinguish certain colors.

There is no single universally accepted reason why central serous retinopathy or CSR takes place. One school of thought holds that the flow of fluid from the central macula is triggered by prolonged periods of stress. This would include people who work in professions where the average stress level is high for most of the working day. As the stress is managed to better effect or is minimized, the leakage subsides and the eye begins to heal.

Others believe that CSR can be triggered by the use of corticosteroids. This is due to findings in some research that indicates a significant number of people diagnosed with central serous retinopathy are using corticosteroids to treat various skin conditions or allergies. People who naturally produce higher levels of cortisone also appear to be at a higher risk of developing CSR at some point in their lives.


It is difficult to determine just how widespread the occurrence of central serous retinopathy actually is. People who wear corrective lenses may notice some blurring, but attribute it to the gradual retinal deterioration of their vision, and think that the time has arrived for a new vision prescription. With others, the change in the quality of vision is so gradual that people fail to notice the change for quite some time. Even when the eye problem is finally noted, most people do not seek the aid of a retinal specialist, assuming they simply need to start wearing corrective lenses of some type.

There is no known cure for central serous retinopathy. In severe cases, healthcare professionals may recommend the use of laser photocoagulation. A procedure of this type makes use of laser technology to repair the rift allowing the leakage. However, this procedure is not without a degree of risk, since it can leave a permanent blind spot at the site where the rift was sealed. Photocoagulation for the treatment of central serous retinopathy is generally recommended only when the CSR does not appear to be correcting itself over a period of several months.


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